Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Emily Traphagen Preserve

The Emily Traphagen Preserve is part of Delaware County’s Preservation Park system. There are two short trails in the park:

  • White Tail Loop (0.6 miles), and
  • Meadow Trail (0.5 miles)

Both trails are loops. As you might expect, Meadow Trail is a mown path. However the White Tail Loop is an improved dirt trail that passes through the woods and by a marsh area. From White Tail Loop there is a side trail to what’s called the Pond Overlook.  I spotted the red-shouldered hawk pictured below while visiting the overlook.

Red-shouldered Hawk near the Pond Overlook

I have to say that the hawk sighting was the highlight of my walk. 🙂 When I first saw him he was perched on a thin stump sticking out of the pond.

Red-shouldered hawk on his perch

He flew away as soon as he spotted me, but surprised me by coming back even though he knew I was there. I actually saw him eat something green while I was watching (a frog? a big bug?). I would hazard a guess that he considers this to be a prime hunting spot, and I think it’s likely that he could be viewed here again. Here’s a photo of the Pond Overlook.

The Pond Overlook. You might spot the little hawk by looking to the right here.

And this is one of the hawk’s favorite perches near the overlook.

The hawk really liked that light-colored stump as a place to perch. He also likes sitting on the wood debris below this stump.

I really enjoyed my shady walk on the White Tail Loop. Although it’s a short trail, I still think by doing multiple laps it would be a good trail for joggers. The trail surface is great.

White Tail Loop Trail

The White Tail Loop Trail does pass by two marshy areas. Because I paused too close to a nest, I alarmed a mated pair of red-wing blackbirds.

Mr. Red-winged Blackbird
Mrs. Red-winged blackbird

You might have noticed the Missus is neither black, nor red-winged. She was very, very irked at me and did everything in her power to shoo me along…. which I did, but not before I took a photo or two of the adjoining Multiflora Rose shrubs.

Multiflora Rose shrubs in bloom
A close look at Multiflora Rose

A short distance from this marsh was another, smaller marsh. Mallards were nesting here.

A female mallard. The male mallard was more shy and had already disappeared to the other side of this clump of marsh grass.

The trail becomes wooded again, and that’s where I lost my cellphone.

Kidding! I just wanted something in the photo to provide a sense of scale. This is a huge grapevine.

On my way to the Meadow Trail I passed the hawk’s pond again, this time from the sunny end.

The hawk hangs out at the shady end on the opposite side.

And here’s a look at the meadow.

A view of the meadow trail. And take a look at that sky! It was a beautiful day.

We are at a pivot point where there are fewer and fewer forest flowers. However the meadow flowers are just getting started.

Yarrow blossoms
A close look at Yarrow.
I am pretty confident that this is a Tickseed (Coreopsis). I’m not as sure about which it is, but I think it is a Lance Leaf Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata).

As is the case for all the Delaware Preservation Parks that I have visited, the meadow was dotted with nesting boxes for the tree swallows.

This tree swallow had just fed its babies.

Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail, and “mutt mitts” are provided at the park’s kiosk. Besides the trail, the Emily Traphagen Preserve offered many other amenities.

Little kids’ playground
Big kids’ playground
Picnic Shelter with nearby grill
Restrooms and Fountains
A place to play horseshoes

And last, but not least, there was this pseudo-chimney.

A fake chimney built to house chimney swift

The park system built the chimney, so chimney swifts would have some place to live. In case you aren’t familiar with chimney swifts, they are little birds that are having a hard time because they’re losing their habitat. I didn’t see one myself, so I’m going to show you one that was published by Jim McCulloch on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

Photo courtesy Jim McCulloch, license: CC BY 2.0

Chimney swift in flight

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4 thoughts on “Emily Traphagen Preserve

  1. Looks like a great place- I’ve nit yet made it to Traphage. I’m wondering if the raptor you photographed was a Red-shouldered hawk perhaps?

    1. Tom, I’ve been really impressed with all the Delaware Preservation Parks. I kind of wish that their trails were longer, but their web site does state they plan on adding more trails to many of their parks.

      After reading your suggestion that the hawk I saw at the pond may have been a red-shouldered hawk, I started looking at photos of red-shouldered hawks on the Internet, and I believe you are right. Thanks for the correction. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Carol. I wish the bird photos were sharper, but I’m kind of straining my poor point-and-shoot’s telephoto abilities.

      I was at a park this weekend and took a few photos of a purple martin (a swallow-like bird that lives in colonies). 🙂 I hope to publish that when I get around to talking about that park. We had fantastic weather this past weekend.

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